November 2008 Archives

Analyzing the odds on who will go to bowl games is a hot topic in most of the country, but here in the D.C.-Virginia politicopolis, football pools are often trumped by cabinet appointment speculations. While Joel Klein and Colin Powell’s names have been bouncing around as likely candidates for Secretary of Education, there are rumors that Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President Elect Obama’s education transition team leader, is a serious contender for the Cabinet seat herself. There’s no doubt that, as Chancellor of New York City Schools, Joel Klein has made progress in transforming New York’s...

In preparation for a meeting I attended this week, I was asked to read Gary Gordon’s Building Engaged Schools: Getting the Most Out of America’s Classrooms.It seems an easy book to agree with when Gordon says things like School leaders and communities must recognize that the abilities of teachers, principals, and other school personnel are paramount to the success of students. No longer can we give lip service to the importance of talented educators while behaving as if they are interchangeable parts in a machine. Teacher talent clearly affects students' outcomes more than any curricular change or ...

In my community, our schools are our polling places, so Tuesday was a teacher workday. I had just arrived when Gheorge came by my room. Gheorge is a new citizen, and the week he took his oath of allegiance, we all celebrated with him. Back in Romania, Gheorge taught violin at the school where he worked. In our school he empties the trash and sweeps. "Mrs. Graham, I am here to tell you, today I am a real American. Today I vote for President of my new country, because here in America we are free and we are not afraid. ...

Every year thousands of people come to Fredericksburg and the surrounding counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford to walk the grounds of Civil War battles. In 2008, our community finds itself in the unexpected position of a political battleground. In case you’ve been living in a cave, Virginia is one of the hotly contested “swing states” and our area, at the southern tip of the Washington, D.C. metroplex, may well be the hinge on which the Virginia electoral votes swing. On September 27th Barack Obama and Joe Biden visited the campus of the University of Mary Washington. Last week, ...


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